Senator Chuck Grassley is part of a task force of Republican senators crafting a temporary extension of ObamaCare subsidies — since Grassley says they expect the U.S. Supreme Court to rule this summer that the insurance subsidies in states that are not running an insurance exchange are unconstitutional.
“So if the court reads the law the same way it was intended, then we’ve got a big problem,” Grassley says. “That big problem is that six million people nationwide won’t have a subsidy and 60,000 or 70,000 Iowans, so it’s not their fault that the president made a mistake.”
Grassley says nothing is “written on paper yet” but the outline of the plan would see those ObamaCare insurance subsidies continued into the middle of 2017 — after a new president takes office and may offer his or her own proposal on ObamaCare’s future.
“Republicans think that there needs to be a lot of changes in ObamaCare,” Grassley says. “Republicans think the people ought to have a voice in that change in the next, so it would carry through to 2017 when then we would make some permanent changes on what should be done.”
According to federal data, about 80 percent of the Americans who are getting insurance through the ObamaCare exchanges are getting a subsidy, meaning their premium costs are cut. Those subsidies, on average, cut the cost of health insurance premiums by 72 percent. Having millions of Americans suddenly exit the private insurance marketplace would be a big economic hit, according to Grassley.
“But, more importantly…we don’t want six million people who, through no fault of their own, are losing their subsidies,” Grassley says. “Those are low-income people.”
And Grassley says they would not be able to afford to buy insurance on their own. The Republican fix Grassley and others are drafting that would continue those subsidies would also continue the employer and individual mandates until — as Grassley suggests — a “more permanent” change is made to ObamaCare by the next president.